Super Dollar Discount Food

Friday April 30, 2010

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Supper Dollar Discount Food will open in Northgate Village Shopping Cneter

Food City -- a supermarket chain owned by Abingdon-based K-VA-T Food Stores -- has scrapped a plan to blast away part of the Northgate Village Shopping Center in Christiansburg in order to make room for a new 43,600-square-foot store.

Instead, the supermarket chain has announce a gentler entry into the local market.

K-VA-T Food Stores -- which stands for Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee -- now plans to bring its new chain of Super Dollar Discount Foods to the site on the north end of the shopping center, located across from the town's recreation center.

Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer of the privately held K-VA-T, said the Christiansburg location will be the fifth such store in his family-owned business, started by his father Jack Smith and other family members who opened their first store in Grundy in 1955. The elder Smith died in March at the age of 81.

K-VA-T now has 92 Food City supermarkets and has branched out into pharmacy and fuel sales with 67 pharmacies and 49 fuel stations in the three-state area. The Christiansburg Super Dollar Discount Foods store will have a pharmacy and a Gas 'N Go, according to a news release issued by K-VA-T. It will be in the Northgate space formerly occupied by Schewel Furniture Co. Shopping center owner Loy Burch said the store will lease the building.

Although smaller than the Food City supermarkets, the discount Super Dollars carry a variety of items.

"Since our first store opening, we've more than doubled the number of items we offer, including additional flavors, sizes and variety in just about every category," Smith said. "And because we buy directly from the manufacturer, we receive a lower cost which we pass on to our customers. This means huge savings off the national brand price."

Other Super Dollar Discount Foods stores are in Wytheville, Abingdon and Hillsville, as well as Prestonsburg, Ky. Randall Tipton, director of store operations, said another store is under construction in Kentucky.

All of the discount stores, Tipton added, are doing well.

"People love them because of the price structure," he said. "Our prices are 40 percent cheaper than your other retail stores."

While the Super Dollar stores carry some national brands, discount brands such as Food Club and ValuTime are popular money-savers, according to Tipton. K-VA-T says the products are "made with the same high-quality ingredients, many times in the very same production facilities, and carry a full money-back satisfaction guarantee."

Tipton said the Christiansburg store will have packaged meats but also fresh-cut meats prepared by store employees who will do custom cuts and orders.

"We cut meat several times a day," he said, noting that the discount stores also have fresh produce offerings, as well as dairy and frozen food items, pet products, health and beauty aids and a special "Dollar Zone" section with a wide variety of dollar-priced general merchandise and seasonal items.

Christiansburg currently has two Food Lion supermarkets, a Kroger, a privately owned Wade's Supermarket and a Wal-Mart Supercenter with a full grocery line. Dollar Store,  Dollar General Market, a similar discount foods center that also carries general merchandise, opened in downtown Christiansburg in June 2005.

"We've got the groceries and more soft lines," said Richard Sizemore, Dollar General Market store manager. "We've been extremely successful. We've gone up in sales every year since we opened."

While the Dollar General Market does not have a gas station or a pharmacy, Sizemore said the store location on Main Street invites walk-in customers who live near the downtown area.

"It's going to have to be traffic over there," Sizemore said of the Super Dollar Discount Foods location. He said he does expect the new store will affect his sales, however.

"It always affects business initially," he said. "I feel sure it will affect us somewhat."

Tipton said the opening date for the new Super Dollar Discount Foods has not been set because the remodeling is not yet complete.

"I'm guessing the end of March but that's not for sure," he said.